By Volksieg AOR
The following article is an attempt at putting in writing some ideas which have come to my mind through meditation work.
The sole intention of this piece is to provide food for thought and, perhaps, to act as a launch pad for further discussion and exploration. None of the writings below should, of course, be considered “Holy Writ” or any such dogmatic nonsense but should be treated as they truly are: mere threads of thought collected as they became apparent. Therefore, I leave it up to you, dear reader, to ascribe any objective value of truth as is deemed necessary.
Whilst meditating on the symbol known to us as “The Black Sun”, it becomes apparent that this form is constructed of three fylfots, or Swastika, combined. The fylfot, proper, is sometimes known as the “Fire Whisk” and I am sure that the many interpretations of this sacred symbol are not unknown to many of you.
At this moment, dear reader, I ask you to consider the Gylfaginning:
“Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void… which faced toward the northern quarter, became filled with heaviness, and masses of ice and rime, and from within, drizzling rain and gusts; but the southern part of the Yawning Void was lighted by those sparks and glowing masses which flew out of Múspellheim”
Here we are faced with the concept of the creation springing from the combination of opposites: Fire and Ice.
If one considers the Black Sun as a symbol of the totality of creation in perfect balance, we can see that it is composed of a “Fire Whisk”, an “Ice Whisk” and a third “Whisk” of some unknown property. It would be tempting to consider this third Fylfot as representing the combination of both elemental properties and, hence, being what could be called a “Steam Whisk” or a sum of the parts and yet, when one considers the Black Sun as representing the sum total of the stuff of creation combined, one soon sees that the concept of a “Steam Whisk” is not necessary as the realm of existence and “being” is represented by the Black Sun itself. This begs the question: What is the third Fylfot and what is its substance?
For the sake of simplicity I have decided to call this third Fylfot the “Air Whisk”.
The reason for my choice will, hopefully, make sense when one considers the element of Air as amorphous and yet to take shape. We can sense it, feel it, be aware of it and yet cannot see it through normal means. The answer (The future), as a certain song goes, is “Blowing in the wind”.
At this moment in time, I would ask you to consider the three Norns:
Urðr: Norn of the Past. That which became or happened.
Verðandi: Norn of the Present. That which is happening.
Skuld: Norn of the Future. that which should become, or that needs to occur.
For this article, I put forward the following for consideration:
Urðr could be considered representative of (Or represented by) the element of Ice when one considers Ice as a passive element – The past has already been and its action is long spent. One can only act upon the lessons of the past as it is unchangeable and yet powerful in the extreme. A passive force. “The Ice Whisk”.
Verðandi could be considered representative of (Or represented by) the element of Fire as it can be considered a raging, active, force – The present is the time when action can be made to influence an outcome. An active force. “The Fire Whisk”.
Skuld, being the Norn of the “Is to be” could then be considered this third element which is yet to take shape. What, for the sake of this piece, I am calling “The Air Whisk”.
When one considers the above, the Black Sun becomes the spinning wheel through which the Norns weave our fate and, in the realm of creation, “Being” and “Time” are dependent upon each other. “Reality” cannot exist without “Time” (Wyrd) by which it can be measured. That which has been, that which is currently being and that which shall be are but three faces of the totality of existence.
If one considers these possibilities, one is then faced with the question: What, then, is the substance of Ginnungagap, the yawning void?
To my mind, at least, Ginnungagap could be considered the very (non) substance from which the threads of Wyrd are spun. The “Wool”, if you will.
Being a yawning, formless void, Ginnungagap is beyond “being”, as such. It is before “Wyrd” (Time) as it has not yet been spun by the Norns (Given substance via the combination of “Fire, Ice and Air“ or “Past, Present and Future”) and, thus, become “reality”.
Ginnungagap is, therefore, the stuff of formless potential.
It is at this point that I feel it is worth exploring the practice and nature of meditation and its application for the bringing about of the state commonly known as “No Mind”.
There are two forms of meditative practice: The inhibitory and the excitatory.
Examples of inhibitory practice could be such things as “Point concentration” in which the practitioner attempts to concentrate on a singular object, such as the single flame of a candle or a point drawn on the wall (Perhaps even a visualized rune or other symbol.) or mantra (“OM OMI ODIN OM”) to the exclusion of all outside thought or interference.
The other, excitatory, method can be achieved through such practices as ritual dance or shamanic drumming exercises, and in many historical Shamanic communities the ingestion of a psychoactive potion of sorts, or in fact a combination of all these techniques, in which the mind becomes so overloaded with information that it, eventually, shuts down and this “No Mind” state is reached.
The singular aim of this practice (Meditation) is to, eventually, bring about a state of mental silence beyond the dichotomy of the “Yes/No” binary mind. Essentially this could be considered an attempt to marry the mind with the formlessness of Ginnungagap itself.
Ultimately, such practices lend themselves to a moment of peace and separation from the illusion of Midgard and places the practitioner in direct communion with the Allfather who is closer to this, much sought after, state of being than most. The Odin Consciousness.
When the above is considered, the potential for meditation as a transformative process becomes evident.
Through the seeking of this “No Mind” state, one opens up the potential for a re-creation of self in a sacred act mirroring the very moment of creation itself.
A personal Ragnarok and the new beginning which stems from it.
The Black Sun is not only the spinning wheel of the Norns, and thusly the tool by which all that we know as existence is formed but also a very powerful talisman and meditational symbol for the betterment and development of self.
I am hoping to continue this as a series with further insights, possible experiments etc as they become apparent, aided and abetted, I hope, by any suggestions put forward by my fellow comrades within the OR.
I would be very interested in any feedback, constructive criticism or encouragement and can be contacted via the Odinic Rite Forum.
Thank you for your time and patience, Comrades.